European Union Green Deal commissioner Frans Timmermans appears likely to become the next Prime Minister of the Netherlands, according to recent polling.
Data gathered by poll aggregator Europe Elects for Euractiv indicates that an alliance between the country’s GreenLeft and Labour Party is set to lead the next government, with Timmermans being selected by both parties as their sole candidate for leader.
According to the polling, the left-wing alliance commands 18.5 per cent of electoral support, putting it ahead of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the party of current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which stands at just over 15 per cent.
In third is the up-and-coming Farmer-Citizen Movement, which holds 14.9 per cent support, up 13.9 points compared to its standing in the previous general election.
Riding a wave of public resentment towards Rutte and “green” politics in general, the farmers’ party managed to emerge victorious during the country’s Senate elections earlier this year.
Support for the group has though waned since then, with the party falling from a high of around 22 per cent in April.
Frans Timmermans is the only nominee to lead the alliance between the Labour (PvdA) and GreenLeft (GroenLinks) in November’s Dutch elections. https://t.co/dsHgk5ONHb
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 11, 2023
Analysts have suggested that a GreenLeft/Labour Party alliance-led government is likely, with either of the two rival parties representing a potential coalition partner to get Timmermans over the line.
“However, there’s a possibility of a full right-leaning government coalition too,” said Nassreddin Taibi of Europe Elects.
While such a coalition is now officially off the table due to Rutte vowing never to work with the Geert Wilders’ populist Party for Freedom, it may nevertheless become possible due to the fact that the VVD will soon be picking a new leader.
Taibi also noted that Dutch politics has been somewhat unstable of late, with opinion polls fluctuating significantly, more often to the benefit of larger parties in the country, with voters said to engage in tactical voting.
While too early to tell definitively, these early polls appear to indicate that Timmermans’ gamble to abandon his Vice-President of the European Commission post may pay off.
He is set to take an official leave of absence later in August to focus on the Dutch elections, with the official emphasising that his national campaign will be just as climate focused as his rule in Brussels.
“The climate crisis, the growing inequality, a failing government, international security, they require a decisive approach that can count on broad support among the population,” he said, adding that it was now the job of the party alliance to help “restore trust” in the Dutch Government.
Environmentalists in the Netherlands want to block planned concerts by the German heavy-metal band Rammstein because they fear the loud music might affect local birdlife. https://t.co/GyHZT7QNvU
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) July 5, 2023